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#WATERWAYS IRELAND – The Waterways Ireland Marketing Strategy 2012-2017 has been launched by Minister Carál Ní Chuilín MLA, Minister Jonathon Bell MLA , and Minister Dinny McGinley, T.D. in Waterways Ireland's Enniskillen Headquarters.

Waterways Ireland has a legislative requirement to engage in promotion, including marketing & development of the tourism and commercial potential of the inland waterways for which it is responsible.

In this context from the outset Waterways Ireland recognised that in order to enhance and develop the potential of the waterways, a solid platform for sustained market development was required. The previous strategy was put in place in 2007.

The 2012-2017 Waterways Ireland Marketing Strategy builds on the progress of the previous strategy and prescribes strategic objectives for the future of the organisation. Marketing programmes have also been developed covering the remit of communications, product development, visitor services, promotions, branding and research.

Speaking about the strategy Director of Marketing & Communications Martin Dennany confirmed "Marketing the inland waterways has brought increased dividends for both the communities and businesses along the waterway corridors. The 2012-2017 Marketing Strategy will build on the foundation established and continue to bring a focus on the wonderful resource that is the waterways. We will continue to work in partnership with our colleagues in Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland on the delivery of the tourism aspects of our programmes"

Published in Inland Waterways

#LIFE ON THE SHANNON - MulkearLIFE has launched its amateur photo competition for 2012, with a prize fund of €1,000 on offer.

The contest celebrates the 20th anniversary of the EU LIFE programme and has the theme of ‘Exploring the Biodiversity of the Lower Shannon’. Images may cover any aspect of the theme, and can be submitted in any style from macro to landscape, black and white or colour.

There is no end to what type of image can be submitted. It could be an image of water, trees, plants, fish, invertebrates, fungi, mammals, birds, lichen, domestic animals - basically any living organism.

Though not essential, images that portray biodiversity in and along rivers, streams and waterways throughout the Lower Shannon region would be preferred.

Entry is free, and entrants can submit up to three images. Prizes will be offered in two categories: Children/Young Adults and Adults.

In addition, the overall winner will receive one full day's training in wildlife and landscape photography from a leading wildlife photographer later in 2012.

Full details of how to enter the competition are available on the MulkearLIFE website HERE. The closing date is 1 May 2012 at 5pm.

Published in Inland Waterways

#RIVER CORRIB - A consultant’s report on Wolfe Tone Bridge in Galway could clear the way for a new crossing of the River Corrib, according to The Connacht Sentinel.

Galway City Council has confirmed that the €400,000 report will look at the possibility of a new bridge for vehicular traffic downstream of the existing span.

“Given the age of the current structure, we have to look at plans for the construction of a new bridge and the retention of the existing crossing as part of a walkway over the Corrib," said the council's director of services Ciarán Hayes.

“There is no doubt that such a walkway, as part as an overall regeneration plan for the area, would be a most welcome addition to the amenity infrastructure of this historic part of the city."

The €400,000 allocation for the report commission will comes from the National Roads Authority and Department of the Environment budget for regional and local roads in 2012. The report is expected to be carried out later this year.

Published in Inland Waterways

#INLAND WATERWAYS - Waterways Ireland is currently undertaking two new public consultations on improving safety standards for children, the elderly and people with disabilities on our inland waterways.

Details for the consultation exercise on Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Policy & Procedures and the Draft Disability Action Plan 2011-2013 are available from the Waterways Ireland website.

Comments may be submitted via e-mail to [email protected] or by post to Waterways Ireland, Strategy & Policy Section, 2 Sligo Road, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh BT74 7JY.

The closing date for comments is Tuesday 21 February 2012.

Published in Inland Waterways

#INLAND WATERWAYS - Waterways Ireland has taken delivery of its third tug boat from Mooney Boats of Killybegs.

Designed by Marine Design International, the Inish Fendra is an 11.2-metre LOA steel-built tug which has been specifically tailored for operation on the Shannon-Erne waterway system.

Its design bears many similarities to the Inis Muillin, which was delivered by Mooney Boats in 2010.

inisfendramooney

The new tug, Inisfendra built by Mooney Boats of Donegal

According to Maritime Journal, the design process "involved significant input from the vessel operators and managers combined with the latest technology and ideas from the designers and builders to improve on efficiency" and safety.

A key feature of the Inish Fendra is its 3,500-litre ballast tank and pumping system, which is operated by the push of a button and can reduce the vessel's air draft by 0.2m.

Maritime Journal has much more on the Inish Fendra HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#SHANNON - Waterways Ireland has just released details of its scheme for renting berths for houseboats on the Grand Canal at Shannon Harbour.

Under the scheme, boaters can rent one of eight fully-serviced berths for their houseboat on a 12-month extended term licence running from 15 March 2012 to 14 March 2013.

Amenities on-site include electricity supply, access to pumps and clean water, shower facilities and limited car parking. Pre-paid smart cards are required to utilise some facilities.

As space is limited, the berths will go to the highest bidders, with the minimum acceptable bid set at €1,250 (a security deposit of €250 is required).

It is expected that licence holders will live on board their vessels as their main residence. Winning bidders are also expected to arrange their own refuse collection from the site.

The closing date for bids is 23 February 2012. The Waterways Ireland website has the application form plus more information about the scheme and details of the licence agreement.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Erne – As a result of fast river flow On the Erne system at Enniskillen, Portora Lock is presently closed. Also, a defective sluice gate on the weir means there are fast flow rates in the vicinity of the lock. Waterways Ireland has issued a warning to Masters to proceed with caution if navigating in the vicinity of the lock.

Published in Inland Waterways

#ERNE – Boats owners using public moorings on the river Erne in excess of two days are liable to prosecution according to a Waterways Ireland notice issued today.  The authority advises masters and owners of vessels and boats on the Erne Navigation that procedures to initiate prosecutions for contravention of Bye-law 19 of Lough Erne (Navigation) are now in place. The bye-law states "No master or owner shall permit a vessel or boat to remain moored at or in the vicinity of any public mooring for a continuous period in excess of 48 hours save that a new period of 48 hours shall be deemed to commence following an absence from the mooring for a period of four hours or more".

Published in Inland Waterways

#INLAND WATERWAYS - The first phase of a project to restore the Thomastown river was launched at the weekend with the opening of a new weir, the Kilkenny People reports.

Fundraising efforts by the Thomastown Community River Trust have already led to the regeneration of the riverbank from the town up to Thomastown Viaduct.

The new causeway also forms part of a planned trail from Bennettsbridge to Inistioge.

The trust's project was "focused on using environmentally friendly and sustainable engineering", working in partnership "with a diverse range of groups from walkers to kayakers and anglers".

Work is already underway on the second phase that aims to see the restoration of the weir, which collapsed in 2008, as well as the sluice and mill wheel, in an effort to re-establish the swimming pond and fish pass.

The Kilkenny People has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#INLAND WATERWAYS - The site of the former graving docks at Grand Canal Dock has been transferred to NAMA in a deal which frees the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) from a €29 million plus bank guarantee.

Plot 8 at Sir John Rogerson's Quay is one of a suite of nine sites that have been transferred to the Government's 'bad bank' in a negotiated loan settlement that extricates the Docklands body from loan guarantees given by banks that financed the "disastrous" Dublin Glass Bottle site deal in 2006.

Sites handed over in the deal include the former 'U2 Tower' and the historic BJ Marine premises on the banks of the Liffey, as well as the aforementioned Dublin Glass Bottle site.

The Dublin branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) had been hoping to embark on a restoration of the graving docks at Plot 8 to their former working order (a detailed history of the docks and restoration plans is available HERE).

This project had been given the blessing of the DDDA and Waterways Ireland, which owns the freehold lease on the site, with a view to its restoration helping to fund the Ulster Canal scheme.

However with the transfer of the DDDA's interest in the site to NAMA, the authority has now withdrawn permission for the IWAI to do any restoration work, leaving the future of the graving docks in limbo.

Published in Inland Waterways
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